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MP3 Music, September 13, 2011
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Pop-rap experimentalists Das Racist, like Atlanta-based hip hop group Tag Team, are 'back again,' riding
the wave of success garnered from the two free mixtapes they released in 2010, with their sprawling,
visionary cyberdelic, Black Eyed Peas-ian epic tone poem of a debut album, RELAX. Featuring production
from El-P, Vampire Weekend's Rostam, Yeasayer's Anand Wilder, Drake songwriter Francis Farewell
Starlite, Diplo and cameos from beloved Detroit rap eccentric Danny Brown, underground hip-hop legend
El-P and the ever-reclusive tiny genius rapper Despot, the album is almost exactly like Kanye West's My
Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in every conceivable way.
The album is the first of several anticipated releases on Illuminati wunderkind and member Himanshu
Suri's own label Greedhead Music. With sales projections at an estimated 100,000 units, grossing roughly
one million dollars, it will still only do one fourth as well as Kanye West's College Dropout, but at least will
afford members Heems, KOOL A.D., and Dapwell to pursue their own individual projects so that they can
finally put this horrible nightmare of a band to rest and remain friends with each other.
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If you're looking for more like it, the closest thing I've found I'd say is Omnikrom. They're quebecois though, so it's all in French (well, sorta :)). But I like that.
Buy it!!!! Tell your friends!!!
Relax - Great opening track. Kool AD begins the track with a soft, subdued type of voice, appropriate for the name of the album/track. Heems comes in after with a stronger verse and keeps you listening, but the end of the track can get annoying after listening a few times. The last minute or so is just filler with no rapping.
Michael Jackson - Their first single off the album. Very loud electronic beat with Heems rapping using a new, hoarse style. Kool AD has the stronger verse in my opinion. One of the better tracks of the album. Upon first listen, I was not a fan of this track because it is so different when compared to usual Das Racist beats, but it will grow for sure.
Brand New Dance - This track begins with Kool AD messing up his verse and starting over. When interviewed about this, Kool AD said they chose to keep the mistake because they are so lazy and now they even perform with the screwup in live performances. They classify the song as "slacker rock rap" due to the guitar riff used throughout. This song might not be enjoyable for everyone, but it is one of my favorites.
Middle of the Cake - Will be the favorite track for a lot of people. Heems and Victor both have great verses. My favorite part is the verse when Victor says "Rapgenius.com is white devil sophistry, Urban Dictionary is for demons with college degrees, Google ad technology is artificial karma B, rick ross on the radio at the pharmacy." I was actually reading these lyrics on rapgenius.com at the time haha.
Girl - Heems steals the show on this track rapping about the girl who he spends time with, citing activities such as reading Infinite Jest and stopping by her place after some meetings to hook up. Kool AD is just singing without any rapping, but it is still enjoyable to listen to.
Shut Up, Man - My favorite track of the album. All three rappers (Heems, Victor, El-P) have great verses, especially Heems. His verse is my favorite part of the whole album talking about sounding/acting black/white even though he is indian, wearing a budweiser hat, and wishing he had a hovercraft to crash.
Happy Rappy - Shortest song on the album with great rapping by Heems and Victor. This song is actually most popular on iTunes, which surprised me because it is not one of my favorites.
Booty in the Air - Do not take this song too seriously. It simply talks about girls dancing with their booties in the air and is meant to be a fun track to listen to and dance to.
Power - Arguably the strongest track on the album including verses from Danny Brown and Despot. Danny Brown has the best verse on the album, even though many listeners might be turned off due to his unique style and voice. There is no filler here, just straight rapping for 5 minutes and all of it is impressive.
Punjabi Song - Interesting track with the chorus sung by Bikram Singh. Even though most will not be able to understand the chorus as it is spoken in Hindi, it is still enjoyable to listen to.
Selena - Both of the rappers have a couple verses here, which is the only song to do so. There is a fun vibe here with both rappers playing off each other and paying homage to the famous singer Selena who was killed.
Rainbow in the Dark - One of the cuts from Shut Up, Dude and probably my favorite Das Racist song ever. This track is completely filled with all sorts of references and it is hard to keep up if you are not paying attention. It is fun to listen along with a set of lyrics up in front of you. Check out the music video as well.
The Trick - Produced by Rostam of Vampire Weekend. There is barely any rapping at all here, but its a very chill track. It is clear that the music has resemblances to Vampire Weekend's music if you know their stuff. I might as well do a plug for Vampire Weekend - listen to their stuff. Contra is the better album in my opinion.
Congratulations - The last track and my least favorite. No rapping, just the two rappers saying random things and not very enjoyable.
So, overall, this is a great album. Any Das Racist fan will not be disappointed. Favorite tracks: Shut Up, Man, Middle of the Cake, Relax